66-year-old wins first Dolphin Award, records first album

AWARD WINNER: Ivan Perger, 66, receives his first NCEIA Dolphin Award in the Folk category.
AWARD WINNER: Ivan Perger, 66, receives his first NCEIA Dolphin Award in the Folk category. Contributed

OCEAN Shores resident Ivan Perger, 66, received his first NCEIA Dolphin Award last week, in the Folk category.

It's not a bad record for someone who learned to play his first instrument only six years ago.

Born in Croatia, he arrived in Sydney with his family when he was four.

It was just over 26 years ago that Mr Perger moved to Mullumbimby, and to Ocean Shores 18 months ago.

An electrician by trade, he was given a ukulele when about to turn 60.

"I was sitting at a cafe with my friend Stan, who is an instrument maker and woodworker. He asked me if I had an instrument and I said I didn't," he said.

"He went into Michael's guitar shop and came out with a purple ukulele for me."

That was the beginning of a love affair with music.

The musician has a 26-year-old son, Zac Perger, who is wheelchair-bound and blind, and has a number of other disabilities.

Mr Perger admits the first years caring for Zac were hard, but he and his ex-wife share the caring duties and Zac has become a great supporter of Ivan's music career.

"He learns my song's lyrics by heart way before me, and he tells me when a new song needs more work," he said.

It was Zac's love for country music that took the family to Tamworth in 2000 after the Make A Wish Foundation gave Zac the opportunity.

"We met some fantastic artists like Glenny Rae and Slim Pickens. Slim became a good friend and he offered me his home studio to record my first album."

Raw and Grizzled, Ivan Perger's first album, saw the light of day two years ago to great reviews, especially from Rhythms Magazine critic Martin Jones.

Thinkin' Out Loud, his second release last year, didn't just get nominated for Album of the Year at this year's NCEIA Dolphin Awards, but confirmed the singer-songwriter as one of the Northern Rivers' finest artists.

Topics:  dolphin awards music

$33m luxury development to change Skennars Head

The site of a proposed seniors living development at Skennars Head.

The plans include a bowling greenand swimming pool

Dangerous turn for local school buses carrying our kids

JAMMED: Richmond and Centre St intersection where school buses have to turn right.

Dangerous intersection for school buses and children

Green team's grubby efforts unearth award nomination

dirtgirlworld, starring Dirtgirl (pictured), has been nominated in the Resource Efficiency Category for its Get Grubby project

dirtgirlworld creators' sustainability project proving a hit

Local Partners

Evans Head bakers score 78 awards at Lismore Show

ALL the trophies and ribbons won by the Wurlitzer Bakery in Evans Head in the past ten years would reach from the shop in Woodburn St to the beach wall.

The Living End are coming to Byron Bay

The Living End

The Living End are going on the road in 2017 for a regional tour

November will be a big month for NORPA

ARTS: NORPA has added new shows to the Dreamland season from November 23 to December 10.

Peter Garrett, Dreamland and the 2017 Season Launch, among others

The Superjesus: Back with Love and Violence

DOWN AGAIN: The Superjesus are Paul Berryman on drums, Sarah McLeod on lead vocals and Stuart Rudd on bass guitar.

The Superjesus are back after 13 years

Steve Irwin's final days through dad's eyes

Bob Irwin with his son Steve.

'You never expect that’s the last time you’re going to see your son'

Kristie doesn't mind being the third wheel in Survivor final

Kristie Bennett in a scene from Australian Survivor.

SOLO player will take on Survivor's power couple Lee and El tonight.

Scary hoping Posh and Sporty will re-join The Spice Girls

Mel B

Mel B hoping Victoria Beckham, Mel C will re-join The Spice Girls

REVIEW: Michael McIntyre has Brisbane in stitches

Michael McIntyre in a scene from his TV series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

BRITISH comedian is in the country on his Happy and Glorious Tour.

Cliff Richard doesn't need Rod Stewart's help with legal bills

Sir Cliff Richard

"'Don't worry, I'm loaded. I won't keep you to it.' "

Woolies announces closure of Ipswich store

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals